April first has turned into a little online event for tech companies, with many competing for the most creative digital pranks. As we wait and see what 2019 brings us, here is a review of the best online April fools’ pranks of this decade.
Best Digital April Fools' Pranks from This Decade
2010: Hulu’s Secret Plan
Apparently “fake news” was already a thing then! From PCWord's Top 10 April Fools' Day Fake News Items for 2010
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"Head over to Hulu on April 1, select a video and you'll see a new fake Hulu option to view content in 3D. You won't need those special glasses you snuck out of the Alice in Wonderland screening last night, but you will go through the looking glass to see the horrible truth about Hulu and television itself. It turns out there is scientific proof that TV really will rot your brain, and the entertainment industry is filled with aliens (of course we already knew that)."
2011: Google's big day!
In 2011 Google went all in, with digital pranks across all of its properties. And they scored, according to this article from SearchEngineLand: It’s Over: Google Has Already Won April Fools Day 2011
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"It’s not even April 1st in Mountain View, but the April Fools Day comedy game is already over and I’m declaring Google the winner. Hiring autocompleters? YouTube 1911? Gmail Motion? Chromercise? Ding, ding, ding and ding. Game over. If you’re planning any big pranks tomorrow, skip it. "
2012: Mashable CEO
2012 was the year of Conan O'Brien and Mashable. From TheNextWeb's Best April Fools’ Jokes of 2012: Adblock is now CatBlock, Hungry Hippos comes to the iPad and more
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"If you head over to Mashable right now, you’ll find the site’s logo has been adorned with the ultimate Team Coco symbol – a mop of red hair.
Pretty much everything on the site is now a bright shade of orange, and there’s a little tuft of hair in the corner of the screen, which reveals a rather startling image of Conan himself, popping up to greet Mashable readers.
Cashmore’s face smiling out at Mashable’s Twitter users has been replaced by a far less smiley, and much more orange, image of Conan himself. If Cashmore can literally be the face for a tech blog, then why not Conan right?"
2013: A Very Special Message from the President
In 2013 The Atlantic picked this video as the winner. I guess fart jokes win in the digital world too!Back to Top
2014: Google's "auto photobomb" tool
2014 was another big year for Google. According to CNN Business article: The Internet's best April Fools gags:
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"As usual, Google led the cheeky charge with a spate of gags spanning its many Web and mobile services. First came the rollout of Pokemon Challenge, which turns the iOS and Android versions of Google Maps into a big version of the classic "catch 'em all" video and card games. Google+ announced Auto Awesome Photo Bombs with David Hasselhoff, a tool by which everyone's favorite knight-riding, lifeguarding Teutonic crooner may magically appear in photos they upload to the site. Google Translate will now work with Emojis, the Chrome team announced, letting Web users who cling to those old-fashioned things called "words" know what these cheerfully annoying little icons mean. (Spoiler: A pair of clapping hands means "Yay!") And speaking of Google-owned YouTube, the site made a big April Fool's confession: All those viral videos? Fakes."
2015: Motorola's Selfie Stick
In 2015, The Verge gave the price for best prank to Motorola, for this video. According to their article The 11 best April Fools' gags of 2015:
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"For April Fools' Day, Motorola turns the much-derided selfie stick into high art. Its video is a wonderfully funny parody of the craftsmanship films that tech companies, Kickstarter campaigns, and generally hip companies like to make about their new products. And honestly, it'll kind of make you want a hand-made selfie stick."
2016: Gmail Mic Drop email signature
This is the year of the Gmail Minion mic drop, which could be added to email signatures (willingly or even unwillingly) by Gmail users. From Forbes' April Fools! The Best & Worst Pranks On The Internet For 2016
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"Welp, this didn't work as planned. If you used Gmail on Thursday, you might have noticed a "Mic Drop" option that let you end an email thread completely with a GIF of a yellow Minion dropping a microphone. Seems funny ... except that the "Mic Drop" button was right next to the "Send" button. Some people reported they had accidentally used the feature to abruptly end important workplace conversations."
2017: Zappos “In Secure Box”
From TechCrunch's' April Fools' 2017: Here's the best and worst of this year pranks (so far)
"Who hasn't had a box stolen from their porch? Zappos' solution: invisible boxes. Just make sure you remember to pick it up eventually."
And yes, 2017 is probably one of the least “applicable” to Singapore! 🙂
2018: Tesla goes “bankwupt”
"Elon Musk showed up late to the April Fools' party with a series of tweets that started by promising important news and followed up with the declaration that Tesla "has gone completely and totally bankrupt" despite a "last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs." This plays on news reports speculating on possible bankruptcy for the electric-car company. What firmly puts this into joke territory is the crowning tweet featuring Musk passed out against a Tesla Model 3 with a sign reading "Bankwupt!""
Last year’s went to Elon Musk, according to CNET’s article: April Fools’ Day 2018: Elon Musk, Google get in on the fun
“Elon Musk showed up late to the April Fools’ party with a promising important news and followed up with the declaration that Tesla “has gone completely and totally bankrupt” despite a “last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs.” This plays on news reports speculating on possible bankruptcy for the electric-car company. What firmly puts this into joke territory is the crowning tweet featuring Musk passed out against a Tesla Model 3 with a sign reading “Bankwupt!””that started by
Given the character, almost too real! 🙂
That's all for now. With three wins in this decade so far (in 2011, 2014, and 2016), Google is the company to watch. Keep your eyes open for this year’s best digital pranks.
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Have a great weekend and enjoy Monday April 1st 2019!